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Flash Content-Google Starts Blocking Flash May 2016

Flash ads on Ad Words no longer excepted

Google is going to stop accepting new submissions for Flash based ads from their multi billion dollar Ad words program as of June 30th 2016.  Google display ads will go 100% HTML5 by January 2017 and that will affect more than Google’s ad platform.

With the rise of mobile devices, many sites have moved to HTML5 for rich media content. It’s considerably more efficient and allows for better scaling across devices. Even advertisers have gotten on board with HTML5. This is probably one of the reasons Google is finally looking to deemphasize and then stop Flash content.  Google claims that most of it’s revenue comes from selling ads so the choice to stop accepting Flash content ads wasn’t made lightly.

image of flash icon used in Baffman Media articalFlash was an indispensable part of the web just a few short years ago. Attempting to browse without Adobe’s plugin would mean broken videos, menus, and plenty of frustration. However, Flash was never a great experience, and now most websites are moving beyond that. These days, Flash is mainly known for its disproportionate impact on performance and security flaws. Google is finally putting its considerable weight behind an effort to wean users off of Flash. By the end of this year, Chrome will no longer load Flash content directly. Instead, you’ll have to whitelist websites that run Flash.

HTML5 to the rescue

Google is calling this concept of theirs “HTML5 by Default.” Chrome has shipped with a bundled version of Flash player for several years now, and it will continue to do so for now. This was never an endorsement of Flash, merely a recognition of the security risk. At least by bundling the latest version with Chrome, users wouldn’t be running old and insecure builds. When Google flips the switch on this plan, that plugin won’t load  Flash content automatically when you happen to come across it. That is only feasible because there is much less Flash on the web now.

When the plan goes into effect, pages that support HTML5 will load that by default. If you encounter a page that demands Flash, Chrome will produce a dialog at the top allowing you to enable Flash for that moment.  The page then reloads with Flash temporarily enabled. That will not go over well with mobile users. Users will be able to add sites to a permanent whitelist for Flash that allows it to run by default.  Google will include 10 popular sites that require Flash on the whitelist to start; for example Amazon and Facebook. However, these top sites will only be whitelisted for a year, after which time users will get the same prompt to enable Flash again.  You Tube will figure into that list also.

There are still a few types of content that rely on Flash, like simple web games and premium video content. However, the day is fast approaching when even that won’t be necessary. Adobe says it is already working on HTML5 tools that should provide many of Flash’s features that should faster, safer and hopefully more compatible with the popular browsers.

Baffman Media is well versed in HTML5

We have been implementing HTML5 since it was adopted.  We make sure all of our HTML, schema markup and syntax is fully verified by following the standards and best practices set forth by Google, W3C and the IDPF. (W3C) World Wide Web Consortium and (IDPF) International Digital Publishing Forum.  In other words, if you are a client or a soon to be client, we’ve got your back.

 

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